2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack Review; Ready For The Urban Jungle - Review By Larry Nutson
2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
Ready for the urban jungle
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
The largest vehicle segment in the U.S. encompasses compact and subcompact crossover SUVs. However in spite of their current popularity, SUVs don’t meet everyone’s wants and needs.
Consider the saying, “you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
Volkswagen has done a commendable job in offering a broad choice of vehicles that offer very good utility and functionality with a variety of styles, sizes and of course prices. Specifically, there are the popular SUV entries Tiguan and Atlas, as well as the Touareg, and the car entries, Golf hatchback, Golf SportWagen and Golf Alltrack.
The Golf Alltrack is considered a raised wagon in industry speak. Other wagon entries similar to the Alltrack are on the market. With varied prices they include Subaru Outback, Audi A4 Allroad, Buick Regal TourX, MINI Countryman, and Volvo V60 and V90 Cross Country.
Built off the Golf SportWagen, the Alltrack offers 0.6 inches more ground clearance, standard 4Motion all-wheel drive and unique exterior body cladding on the side sills and around the wheelarches along with some silver trim bits.
Introduced for 2017, I drove the Alltrack at VW’s launch program. You can read that report right here.
For 2018 the Golf Alltrack continues to be offered in three trims—S, SE and SEL. Updates include new LED taillights, LED Daytime Running Lights, and automatic headlights with rain sensor. On the inside, the 2018 features a 6.5-inch or 8-inch Composition Color touchscreen infotainment display with Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect. Driver assistance features become standard on various trims, including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist.
Golf Alltrack prices start at $25,995 for the S. The SE is priced at $29,765.
I recently drove the 2018 Alltrack in the SEL trim with a $35,660 base price. SEL has a new 8-inch Discover Media touchscreen infotainment and navigation display, as well LED headlights with the Adaptive Front-lighting System.
In addition, driver assistance features that were previously included in packages become standard, including Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist), Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, front and rear Park Distance Control with Maneuver braking (ParkPilot), Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist) and High Beam Control. Mid-model year changes will add standard Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert.
Around my Chicago home I’ve seen a few Alltracks on the road. That’s not surprising with its combination of a compact exterior and roomy interior package. The Alltrack is an urban-friendly 180.2 inches long. With seating for five on the inside there is also 30.4 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 66.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
Power comes from a 1.8-liter TSI four-cylinder gasoline engine utilizing turbocharged induction and direct fuel injection. Output is rated at 170 horsepower at 4500 rpm and 199 pound-feet of torque beginning at just 1,600 rpm.
On S and SE models, Alltrack is offered with either a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG automatic transmission for $1,100 additional. SEL models come standard with the six-speed DSG. Power is routed to all four wheels via the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.
EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings for six-speed manual models are 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. When equipped with the optional six-speed DSG automatic transmission, EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings are 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Alltrack has a larger 14.5-gallon fuel tank, which offers a greater range than SportWagen’s 13.2-gallon tank.
Volkswagen’s warranty for the Golf Alltrack is notable. All models in the United States will come with the People First Warranty, a six-year or 72,000-mile (whichever occurs first) bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty, which can be transferred to subsequent owners throughout its duration.
The 1.8-L engine delivers lots of low end torque. Those stop sign to stop sign accelerations are easily handled. Highway merging and passing ability is quite good and very satisfactory. The suspension has some unique tuning and like all VWs it’s meant for confident curve-carving, even if they are just highway cloverleafs. The 4-Motion system adds greatly to the curve-carving especially on compromised road surfaces, be it on rain, snow, or an unpaved surface. In Chicago’s winters the Alltrack with its 6.9 inches of ground clearance should easily handle the unplowed side streets that are the last to get cleared of snow. As for off-road, well, it’s not for rock crawling but the Alltrack can handle an unpaved trail on a weekend camping trip out of the city.
More info, specifications and details on the 2018 VV Golf Alltrack can be found at www.vw.com.
The Alltrack is a bit of a niche car and not surprisingly it has developed a following. There’s a VW owners forum and an Alltrack Owners Facebook page created by a community of Alltrack owners. Check it out!
© 2018 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy